Terming it a “failure” on the part of Mayor Snehal Ambekar to run the proceedings of the general body meeting smoothly, corporators of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) walked out of the corporation hall amid proceedings on Monday. The BJP and Shiv Sena are ruling partners in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and the snub to Sena’s Ambekar is being seen as a reflection of the fraying relationships in the saffron combine in the state government.
Monday’s meeting of the general body of elected corporators was called to discuss budget 2015-16. Congress leaders disrupted proceedings for the fifth day since last week, apparently irking the BJP. Mayor Snehal Ambekar last week suspended six Opposition corporators for the continuing interruptions.
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But the ruling alliance partners in the state government BJP and Shiv Sena were also at loggerheads in the Maharashtra Legislative Council on Monday. The BJP supported the NCP’s no-confidence motion against the chairman of the council, a Congressman, while the Sena supported the Congress.
Despite the apparent realignment in political equations, BJP leaders in the BMC said the walkout has nothing to do with their ties with the Sena.
Dilip Patel, senior leader of BJP said, “It is her (mayor) failure in managing the house and the Congress’s negative attitude. Instead of discussing on an important topic like the budget, the Opposition is finding new ways to disrupt proceedings. We have already waited for five days to start budget discussions.”
Manoj Kotak, group leader of the BJP in the civic body, said, “We are only fighting for Mumbaikars and we want that the budget discussion be carried out soon.”
Yashodhar Phanse, senior Sena corporator and Standing Committee chairman, said, “From suspending corporators to adjourning the house, the mayor has done everything that she could under the provision of the law. BJP walked out of the meeting but it is our responsibility to run the house and we will continue to do so.”
Congress leaders have been protesting all of last week by bringing in placards, wearing masks to protest the growing swine flu numbers and protesting outside the hall where the meetings are conducted in the BMC headquarters. Congress corporators also bruoght saplings into the house as a jibe on the mayor’s recent remarks regarding planting more trees to reduce the number of swine flu cases in the city.